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periodictabledancer

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ri Alban
43 minutes ago, Footballfirst said:

Prosecutions started during the the Pilot, comrade.

 

Kevan Jones, the Labour MP who is a member of the Horizon compensation advisory board, said he was told by Post Office managers that the Horizon pilot scheme was rolled out to 300 branches in 1995.

“I have met one of the post office managers who was pursued by the Post Office after taking part in the pilot and then accused of mishandling money. There were protests that the system was faulty and the protests were ignored. They were obviously not a crook and should never have been prosecuted,” said Jones.

Jones said he believed there may be dozens more victims of the pilot scheme and said the Post Office should have disclosed the existence of the pilot years ago. “Amid the controversy and scandal over the Horizon system, no one from the Post Office thought to mention that they had this pilot scheme which also resulted in prosecutions.

“The question we have to ask is how many more have been prosecuted and how many more lives have been ruined. It’s what we have come to expect from the Post Office – they hide the truth and the sub postmasters take the blame.”

Well played, Sir. 👏

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Footballfirst

Finally ........... Vennells to hand back her CBE.

 

Statement

"I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months.

"I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence. I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE.

"I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.

"I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.

"I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded."

 

Edited by Footballfirst
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inspector
19 hours ago, Jambo-Jimbo said:

In true political fashion Ed Davy has thrown everybody under the bus, he knew nothing about it, they all lied to him, everyone of them.

I honesty was waiting on him blaming postman pat and his cat, he'd have been as well to, he blamed everybody else.

 

If everybody lied to him, then the decent thing would be to name names to the Met when they come calling, won't be holding my breath though.

Pat and Jess would be ok, but it would be Mrs Goggins l would be worrying about

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inspector
19 hours ago, Jambo-Jimbo said:

In true political fashion Ed Davy has thrown everybody under the bus, he knew nothing about it, they all lied to him, everyone of them.

I honesty was waiting on him blaming postman pat and his cat, he'd have been as well to, he blamed everybody else.

 

If everybody lied to him, then the decent thing would be to name names to the Met when they come calling, won't be holding my breath though.

Pat and Jess would be ok, but it would be Mrs Goggins l would be worrying about

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inspector
19 hours ago, Jambo-Jimbo said:

In true political fashion Ed Davy has thrown everybody under the bus, he knew nothing about it, they all lied to him, everyone of them.

I honesty was waiting on him blaming postman pat and his cat, he'd have been as well to, he blamed everybody else.

 

If everybody lied to him, then the decent thing would be to name names to the Met when they come calling, won't be holding my breath though.

Pat and Jess would be ok, but it would be Mrs Goggins l would be worrying about

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Victorian

Lord Falconer has a pretty reasonable point tbf.  That an outright,  blanket quashing of convictions might leave some people with the feeling that they haven't been fully exonerated as an individual,  wrongly convicted person.

 

Better just ask them then.  

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SectionDJambo
17 minutes ago, Footballfirst said:

Finally ........... Vennells to hand back her CBE.

 

Statement

"I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months.

"I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence. I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE.

"I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.

"I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.

"I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded."

 

Who gave her it in the first place?

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Footballfirst
6 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

Who gave her it in the first place?

I've just been looking for that info. However, others appear to be on the case using FOI.

 

Q. 

Alan Barton 5 January 2024

Dear Cabinet Office,
I would like to know who put Paula Vennells (ex Royal Mail ceo) name forward for a CBE who was on the committee at the time it was approved and who approved it.

Yours faithfully,
Mr A Barton

 

A. 

Cabinet Office FOI Team, 8 January 2024

Our ref: FOI2024/00200

Dear Alan Barton,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 5th January. Your request is being handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('the Act').

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event within 20 working days. We will therefore aim to reply at the latest by 2nd February.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Edited by Footballfirst
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SectionDJambo
1 minute ago, Footballfirst said:

I've just been looking for that info. However, others appear to be on the case using FOI.

 

Q. 

Alan Barton 5 January 2024

Dear Cabinet Office,
I would like to know who put Paula Vennells (ex Royal Mail ceo) name forward for a CBE who was on the committee at the time it was approved and who approved it.

Yours faithfully,
Mr A Barton

 

A. 

Cabinet Office FOI Team, 8 January 2024

Our ref: FOI2024/00200

Dear Alan Barton,

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 5th
January. Your request is being handled under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ('the Act').

The Act requires that a response must be given promptly, and in any event
within 20 working days. We will therefore aim to reply at the latest by
2nd February.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team

Cabinet Office

Seems to be reasonable ask.

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manaliveits105
2 hours ago, Footballfirst said:

Prosecutions started during the the Pilot, comrade.

 

Kevan Jones, the Labour MP who is a member of the Horizon compensation advisory board, said he was told by Post Office managers that the Horizon pilot scheme was rolled out to 300 branches in 1995.

“I have met one of the post office managers who was pursued by the Post Office after taking part in the pilot and then accused of mishandling money. There were protests that the system was faulty and the protests were ignored. They were obviously not a crook and should never have been prosecuted,” said Jones.

Jones said he believed there may be dozens more victims of the pilot scheme and said the Post Office should have disclosed the existence of the pilot years ago. “Amid the controversy and scandal over the Horizon system, no one from the Post Office thought to mention that they had this pilot scheme which also resulted in prosecutions.

“The question we have to ask is how many more have been prosecuted and how many more lives have been ruined. It’s what we have come to expect from the Post Office – they hide the truth and the sub postmasters take the blame.”

The fact remains it was rolled out under Labour 

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Mikey1874
19 minutes ago, manaliveits105 said:

The fact remains it was rolled out under Labour 

 

And continues

 

 

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The Mighty Thor
13 minutes ago, Mikey1874 said:

 

And continues

 

 

That's been answered already on Twatter. Starmer was DPP and the post office prosecutions were private prosecutions brought by POL under their ancient powers. 

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periodictabledancer
1 hour ago, Footballfirst said:

Finally ........... Vennells to hand back her CBE.

 

Statement

"I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months.

"I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence. I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE.

"I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.

"I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.

"I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded."

 

She's got a brass neck coming out with this guff when she's engaged Mishcon de Reya to "support, " her in her work with the enquiry. And not on her dollar either, of course. 

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The Mighty Thor
1 hour ago, Footballfirst said:

Finally ........... Vennells to hand back her CBE.

 

Statement

"I continue to support and focus on co-operating with the inquiry and expect to be giving evidence in the coming months.

"I have so far maintained my silence as I considered it inappropriate to comment publicly while the inquiry remains ongoing and before I have provided my oral evidence. I am, however, aware of the calls from sub-postmasters and others to return my CBE.

"I have listened and I confirm that I return my CBE with immediate effect.

"I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.

"I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded."

 

She's a vindictive individual with an apparent ability to lie easily which is surprising for someone who is a god botherer. 

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periodictabledancer
2 minutes ago, The Mighty Thor said:

That's been answered already on Twatter. Starmer was DPP and the post office prosecutions were private prosecutions brought by POL under their ancient powers. 

The rush to judgement from the right getting in the way of the facts, as I alluded earlier on the thread. Pathetically predictable, given thirteen years of Tory rule when it could've been resolved.

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periodictabledancer
1 minute ago, The Mighty Thor said:

She's a vindictive individual with an apparent ability to lie easily which is surprising for someone who is a god botherer. 

She's like a doctor with a god complex. 

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periodictabledancer

The C of E refused numerous requests for Vennells to be stripped of her robes : now we know why and it is mind boggling.

 

Unbelievable. It's now come to light that former Post Office CEO, Paula Vessells, who was ordained into the Church of England in 2005, was encouraged in 2017 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, to apply for the job of Bishop of London. She made the shortlist but didn't get the job.

 

 

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Jambo-Jimbo
7 hours ago, The Mighty Thor said:

She's a vindictive individual with an apparent ability to lie easily which is surprising for someone who is a god botherer. 

 

She'll never be cold, as there's a special place in hell reserved just for her and she can take that Angela van den bogerd with her.

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Dusk_Till_Dawn
8 hours ago, Mikey1874 said:

 

And continues

 

 


Farage is a ****ing *****

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Lone Striker

APologies if already posted. but this IT expert claims he was  contracted by the PO  to carry out an IT assessment of Horizon in 2003 - gave his report  on the various shortcomings and inaccuracies which he found (which was not what the PO wanted to hear), so his report  got buried and he wasn't re-hired.

 

 No idea how genuine his claim is, if its only making the news now - but quite damning of the PO execs if its true.

 

  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-67921974

 

 

Edit - if true, it rather suggests a cover-up was in the interests of BOTH the PO and Fujitsu .... which begs the question  WHY

Edited by Lone Striker
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Footballfirst
13 hours ago, Lone Striker said:

APologies if already posted. but this IT expert claims he was  contracted by the PO  to carry out an IT assessment of Horizon in 2003 - gave his report  on the various shortcomings and inaccuracies which he found (which was not what the PO wanted to hear), so his report  got buried and he wasn't re-hired.

 

 No idea how genuine his claim is, if its only making the news now - but quite damning of the PO execs if its true.

 

  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-67921974

 

 

Edit - if true, it rather suggests a cover-up was in the interests of BOTH the PO and Fujitsu .... which begs the question  WHY

Here's Jason Coyne's witness statement to the inquiry which covers his involvement as an Expert Witness.

 

https://www.postofficehorizoninquiry.org.uk/evidence/witn00210100-jason-coyne-witness-statement

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Footballfirst

From Kevin Hollinrake's reply to an Urgent Question

 

Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake says those claiming for exoneration and compensation will have to sign a statement confirming they did not commit crimes.

"All we ask is that as part of claims for compensation they sign a statement to the affect that they did not commit the crimes," Hollinrake says.

"Anyone falsely signing this will be subject for prosecution for fraud. An honest postmaster will have his or her conviction overturned."

He adds that the government intends to bring forward legislation "as soon as we can to overturn the convictions of all those convicted in England or Wales on the basis of Post Office evidence given during the Horizon scandal".

"We recognise this is an exceptional step, but these are exceptional circumstances," he tells MPs.

The government will work to avoid "guilty people walking away" with public money, he adds

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periodictabledancer
13 hours ago, Lone Striker said:

APologies if already posted. but this IT expert claims he was  contracted by the PO  to carry out an IT assessment of Horizon in 2003 - gave his report  on the various shortcomings and inaccuracies which he found (which was not what the PO wanted to hear), so his report  got buried and he wasn't re-hired.

 

 No idea how genuine his claim is, if its only making the news now - but quite damning of the PO execs if its true.

 

  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-67921974

 

 

Edit - if true, it rather suggests a cover-up was in the interests of BOTH the PO and Fujitsu .... which begs the question  WHY

The Horizon system was introduced by government as an attempt to save the Post Office network

because the ORIGINAL plan was to have DWP make cash payments via the PO network and also to have the PO capable of offering a range of networked banking services. It was also intended that Horizon would enable tighter financial controls, better fraud detection thus saving the PO money.

 

The irony being that the system didn't work properly (try looking at the "Horizon" solution in totality - it wasn't just a faulty software package, the hardware was riddled with faults too) so money was going missing allover the place (and appearing all over the place) - lottery tickets were a later issue, keypads were faulty, laptops wrongly configured, hard drive issues on counter desktops - and the piece de resistance of Fujitsu  accessing PO accounts on line and altering them at will. There's also been a cover up of cash being robbed from ATMS that the PO will not even discuss. 

 

The rationale that PO would get a grip on its financial controls, have better fraud detection etc was being hugely undermined. The whole PO was basically a financial black hole and it was arguably getting worse everytime more technology was introduced. 

 

The idea that it was "just" a software issue detracts from the fact that the PO board and Fujitsu were responsible for rolling out an entire system that wasn't fit for purpose and was making a bad situation worse (in terms of getting a grip on financial controls/losses/fraud). 

No wonder they covered it up. It was a total embarrassment and if the PO was a private company they'd have gone bust years ago. 

Edited by periodictabledancer
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SectionDJambo

The proposed "rushed through" legislation is not expected to pay out the resulting compensation until the end of this year.

What on earth takes so long for a government to deal with something like this? A lack of real will to deal with it, or just being skint?

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periodictabledancer
3 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

The proposed "rushed through" legislation is not expected to pay out the resulting compensation until the end of this year.

What on earth takes so long for a government to deal with something like this? A lack of real will to deal with it, or just being skint?

Without being partisan : there's no votes in this, just a world of pain in trying to resolve the monumental problem of getting PMs malicious convictions overturned in time (it just can't be done through the usual routes) and making the appropropriate (level of) compensation to thousands of people. Hence, Governments of all hues have been using the excuse that it had to go through the courts and that the Post Office itself would administer the financial schemes- no one wanted to own the mess. 

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Lone Striker
59 minutes ago, Footballfirst said:

Here's Jason Coyne's witness statement to the inquiry which covers his involvement as an Expert Witness.

 

https://www.postofficehorizoninquiry.org.uk/evidence/witn00210100-jason-coyne-witness-statement

Cheers for this link, FF.    First impression is that the BBC story's summary doesn't give an accurate picture of JC's role or  opinion - although tbf its quite a difficult story to summarise.     The most telling piece of his statement is his opinion that  Fujitsu's belief was that they had fulfilled the contract to the PO so any SPM issues & Helpdesk calls were the PO's problem.

 

 

Just saw @periodictabledancer post which puts the rest of my thoughts much better than I could !! 

Edited by Lone Striker
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Lone Striker

Is Horizon still being used now by sub-postmasters ?  Did something change so that fictitious reconciliation imbalances no longer happen ?

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periodictabledancer
15 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Cheers for this link, FF.    First impression is that the BBC story's summary doesn't give an accurate picture of JC's role or  opinion - although tbf its quite a difficult story to summarise.     The most telling piece of his statement is his opinion that  Fujitsu's belief was that they had fulfilled the contract to the PO so any SPM issues & Helpdesk calls were the PO's problem.

 

 

Just saw @periodictabledancer post which puts the rest of my thoughts much better than I could !! 

The most "commercially aware" organisation I've ever worked with.  There's a saying in IT that you should never "hide behind the contract", sadly not a phrase  i ever associated with Fujitsu, and I'm talking from personal experience. 

A business that never did anything it didn't have to (and often wouldn't  , even when it was being contractually paid to do so).

Edited by periodictabledancer
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The Mighty Thor
1 hour ago, Footballfirst said:

The government will work to avoid "guilty people walking away" with public money, he adds

 

A novel approach for this current government. 

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Lone Striker

imo, there also needs to be an inquiry into the circumstances pertaining to why Fujitsu were awarded big IT contracts by other Govt agencies (DWP, HMRC etc) long after the prosecutions by the PO had started.   A cynic might wonder if there was some bias (or unwilingness to probe too deeply into their previous Govt projects) by senior Civil Servants or Govt Ministers responsible for procurement.  

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The Mighty Thor
13 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Is Horizon still being used now by sub-postmasters ?  Did something change so that fictitious reconciliation imbalances no longer happen ?

It's still there and HM Gov just extended the Horizon contract ina  multi million pound deal.

 

There was a postmaster on LBC on Monday who said that they were still getting discrepancies every single day with Horizon. 

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periodictabledancer
17 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Is Horizon still being used now by sub-postmasters ?  Did something change so that fictitious reconciliation imbalances no longer happen ?

Yes, it's been "improved" and I think there's work under way to completely overhaul the whole thing if not, replace it. 

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Lone Striker
1 hour ago, Footballfirst said:

 

The government will work to avoid "guilty people walking away" with public money, he adds

Good.  How's the investigation into fictitiuous/bogus/sub-standard PPE contracts  going, Rishi ?   Anyone been charged yet ?

 

 

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Lone Striker
10 minutes ago, The Mighty Thor said:

It's still there and HM Gov just extended the Horizon contract ina  multi million pound deal.

 

There was a postmaster on LBC on Monday who said that they were still getting discrepancies every single day with Horizon. 

Thats outrageous

6 minutes ago, periodictabledancer said:

Yes, it's been "improved" and I think there's work under way to completely overhaul the whole thing if not, replace it. 

Is that the work Mighty Thor is alluding to above ?   More public money going in to the coffers of these shysters to undo their previous incompetence ?

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periodictabledancer
2 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Thats outrageous

Is that the work Mighty Thor is alluding to above ?   More public money going in to the coffers of these shysters to undo their previous incompetence ?

Yup.

I can't recall the specifics but there was a historic plan to improve  Horizon but it couldn't be done - I'd suggest because the coding is in such a bad state it wasn't commercially viable : it would need a complete re-write , no other organisation would've been capable (willing ?) to take over the contract, very likely. 

 

Fujitsu has earned a fortune from fixing its own mess, basically, because no else could/would do it at a viable cost. 

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Footballfirst
18 minutes ago, Mikey1874 said:

 

 

I was about to comment on the same post.

 

Despite following the scandal for a few years now, I am only just getting to grips with the numbers impacted.  We have heard a lot about the 555 in the Bates Group Litigation case and maybe 700 who were convicted either in civil or criminal courts. However the biggest group was those who were never prosecuted, but paid up to cover shortfalls.

 

The Horizon (previously "Historical") Shortfall Scheme was set up to compensate those impacted by Horizon but never prosecuted by POL.  Most of the affected postmasters covered the shortfalls from their own savings or had the amounts deducted from their PO salary.  It is worth noting that POL has made compensation offers to 2,645 postmasters under the HSS thus far.

 

Those with convictions or part of the Group Litigation were not eligible to participate in HSS, but need to be added to produce a total number of people impacted.

 

The latest estimate of the total stands at 4,333 (still rising as more come forward after the TV drama).

 

The total number of post offices has been reported to the inquiry variously as 15,000, 14,000 and 12,500. A significant number of branches have closed over the last 20 years, so all may be correct at some point in time.  Taking the highest figure and the number affected, then it shows that 29% of post offices were affected.  Using the lowest number then the %age goes up to 35%. 

 

It beggars belief that potentially a third of all of branches experienced problems, but apparently this went unnoticed for so long, while POL continued its policy of holding the postmasters to account.

 

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Lone Striker
2 minutes ago, Footballfirst said:

 

I was about to comment on the same post.

 

Despite following the scandal for a few years now, I am only just getting to grips with the numbers impacted.  We have heard a lot about the 555 in the Bates Group Litigation case and maybe 700 who were convicted either in civil or criminal courts. However the biggest group was those who were never prosecuted, but paid up to cover shortfalls.

 

The Horizon (previously "Historical") Shortfall Scheme was set up to compensate those impacted by Horizon but never prosecuted by POL.  Most of the affected postmasters covered the shortfalls from their own savings or had the amounts deducted from their PO salary.  It is worth noting that POL has made compensation offers to 2,645 postmasters under the HSS thus far.

 

Those with convictions or part of the Group Litigation were not eligible to participate in HSS, but need to be added to produce a total number of people impacted.

 

The latest estimate of the total stands at 4,333 (still rising as more come forward after the TV drama).

 

The total number of post offices has been reported to the inquiry variously as 15,000, 14,000 and 12,500. A significant number of branches have closed over the last 20 years, so all may be correct at some point in time.  Taking the highest figure and the number affected, then it shows that 29% of post offices were affected.  Using the lowest number then the %age goes up to 35%. 

 

It beggars belief that potentially a third of all of branches experienced problems, but apparently this went unnoticed for so long, while POL continued its policy of holding the postmasters to account.

 

Cheers FF.  If a third of all Post Offices experienced false accounting calcs, why would the other two/thirds not experience them ?   Was the rollout of Horizon halted at some point ?  Were the unaffected Post Offices performing different services from the ones at the affected offices ?   Did the two-thirds of sub-postmasters just  refuse to use Horizon ?  Etc.       I just find that stat quite odd.

 

 

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The Mighty Thor

How long do we reckon it'll be before Fujitsu exit the UK without paying a bolt?

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Mikey1874
2 minutes ago, The Mighty Thor said:

How long do we reckon it'll be before Fujitsu exit the UK without paying a bolt?

 

Tricky when they provide services across Government. A main supplier with preferential access to contracts. 

 

If they do go they'll be going with  £Billions payoff.

Edited by Mikey1874
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The Mighty Thor
1 minute ago, Mikey1874 said:

 

Tricky when they provide services across Government. A main supplier with preferential access to contracts. 

 

If they do go they'll be going with  £Billions payoff.

The unfolding scandal is running to the true UK media pattern. 

Once they've cycled through its the fault of Tory/Labour/lib Dem then the unions etc they'll finally alight on the fact that it appears to have been a shit system from the off and then they'll go after Fujitsu which will then shake out who they've been donating to and it'll go around a second time. 

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Footballfirst
6 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Cheers FF.  If a third of all Post Offices experienced false accounting calcs, why would the other two/thirds not experience them ?   Was the rollout of Horizon halted at some point ?  Were the unaffected Post Offices performing different services from the ones at the affected offices ?   Did the two-thirds of sub-postmasters just  refuse to use Horizon ?  Etc.       I just find that stat quite odd.

 

 

I don't know. Perhaps they did have problems, but these were in bigger, multi counter offices and it was not possible to identify which counter experienced an issue and the POL didn't seek to prosecute.

 

One thing I'd like to know if if the incorrect balances were ever positive in the postmaster's favour.  If so, could they pocket the cash or were such funds put into a suspense account.

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WorldChampions1902
2 minutes ago, The Mighty Thor said:

How long do we reckon it'll be before Fujitsu exit the UK without paying a bolt?

We still do not know the full extent of Fujitsu’s ‘culpability’ in this sorry affair. Once that is exposed and we know how outraged public opinion becomes, then the government of the day will have a better sense of how to proceed.

 

Latest figs show the legal and compensation bill sitting at around £1.5 billion. However, more victims are now coming forward, which means that final bill will only grow. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the government presenting Fujitsu with an ultimatum along the lines of “pay us x% share of the final bill, and we will allow you to continue bidding for future U.K. government contracts. If you decline that offer, then no more taxpayers money”. The caveat to that of course is that such a scenario will only happen if it is deemed ‘palatable’ to the voting public.

 

For a sense of context, Fujitsu is valued at around £20 billion and about 10+ years ago, it fought (and won) £500-£700 million compensation from the NHS, for a failed IT system on the basis of NHS ‘failings’.

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Lone Striker
11 minutes ago, Footballfirst said:

I don't know. Perhaps they did have problems, but these were in bigger, multi counter offices and it was not possible to identify which counter experienced an issue and the POL didn't seek to prosecute.

 

One thing I'd like to know if if the incorrect balances were ever positive in the postmaster's favour.  If so, could they pocket the cash or were such funds put into a suspense account.

I'm sure one of the actual S-PM's  on the "Real Story" documentary said that her discrepancies were always a deficit i.e. money owed to the PO account.  Don't know if everyone's was the same as that though.   

 

I can't remember if it was a poorly worded media article or an actual quote from a convicted S-PM .... but  the claim was that when a customer used  their debit card to withdraw money from their PO account, the system added the amount to their account.   Free money !!   Not sure if that was the cause of the apparent shortfalls in the daily recs which led to prosecutions or simply a different bug in the Horizon system.

 

It should  always be remembered that basic accounting just involves a debit to one account and a balancing credit to another.  For a non-accountant,  the trickier part is knowing which is which.  🤔

 

 

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Lone Striker
27 minutes ago, WorldChampions1902 said:

 

For a sense of context, Fujitsu is valued at around £20 billion and about 10+ years ago, it fought (and won) £500-£700 million compensation from the NHS, for a failed IT system on the basis of NHS ‘failings’.

Didn't know that.   😲   Starting to sound as if Fujitsu are running a  get-rich-quick racket by playing the IT world's  professional victim when they see a Govt agency wanting their processes computerised. 

 

 

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periodictabledancer
29 minutes ago, Lone Striker said:

Cheers FF.  If a third of all Post Offices experienced false accounting calcs, why would the other two/thirds not experience them ?   Was the rollout of Horizon halted at some point ?  Were the unaffected Post Offices performing different services from the ones at the affected offices ?   Did the two-thirds of sub-postmasters just  refuse to use Horizon ?  Etc.       I just find that stat quite odd.

 

 

Maybe I can give some clues on that.

I worked for 30 years in IT but not in software - I worked on rollout programmes ( I was a project manager on the three largest Windows IR infrastructure programmes ever rolled out - all done in the UK) and I've worked in a similar roles overseas for private & public companies.

 

You need a suitable environment to deploy your "solution" into : that means the power supply must be stable, the comms links have to be of a minimum standard and not prone to fail (think a rural PO in Crinkly Bottom, not  a city centre ,modern post office. 

Your people have to be trained - properly. If not your business will fail from day one even if everthing else is 100%. 

 

Next : you roll out to a few offices as a pilot and ensure it's functionality does what it says on the tin. Then increase the  rollout in an intermediate stage checking fucntionality AND scaleability. All the while, your problems are identified & resolved (and recorded in the infamous Known Error Log - KEL). The KEL tells you what errors you have and the (lack of) impact on the users/network/business. You can still rollout with numerous "errors" if they don't pose a risk to the business (think user functionality rather than "do the accounts add up at the end of the week" ?) 

 

There were numerous (and well documented) false starts on Horizon BUT the green light was gicen after THE two most senior Fujitsu directors told Tony Blair - we've spent millions over the years and it cannot carry on like this. And so it went ahead. Very late.

 

Why did the "faults" appear so intermittently* ? That's how IT systems function when the users aren't trained properly, the software is a bag of shite , the comms links routinely fail (or there is insufficient bandwidth) etc, etc. Horizon was the perfect storm.

 

* There was a hilarious moment in the testimony of expert witness (Jason Coyne) where he uses some tables/stats of post offices which were used as a comparison in the case of Lee Castleton. 

The PO claimed that their data showed LCs post office suffered no more or worse than any other comparable post office in terms of hardware faults/computer errors. In fact - his analysis showed the  post office in question was suffering terribly , much worse than the comparators ... where the comparators themsleves were ALSO suffering terribly !! And these were sites PO picked to claim there was no issues across the network (PO likes to say "systemic issues" - because it's true, it wasn't systemic - but it was MUCH more widespread than PO wanted you to believe). 

 

Coming at it from my role/experience : the PO had no one in situ with suitable experience to manage the rollout and understand what was happening /could happen if it went wrong, there was no contingency plan to suspend or regress - and consequently Fujitsu ran rings around them and persuaded PO it was all fine & dandy. Which was what PO was desperate to hear. When the extent of it all became apparent they (PO) hid mehind their lawyers in trying to manage the cover up. 

 

 

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